I’m sorry that it’s not a travelling story, but it is a travel story… all about the unique and delightful experience of the UKs best transport and carriageways, and the oddballs you encounter on it. Ahhhhh yes. Don’t give up immediately, this poor start can be redeemed, I promise!
Where to begin? So, this week I am joyously commuting to work again, on the Coast-to-Capital jailbreak service. (That’s clearly not its actual name, I just don’t want to get sued by some jobsworth in the Transport department or, in fact, stalked by a random fellow commuter who chooses to take against me for the tale that follows.) On Monday, it was probably a good thing that I’m not living in London at the moment, because the Tube strike cocked up everyone’s commute, and proved a far-from-fascinating talking point for the day.
So, while almost everyone else I know was navigating the city’s overground routes to work, I made up the hour of sleep I’d lost because I’m living out of town by happily falling asleep on the train…before it had even left the station (probably a sign I need more sleep, but plenty of time to rest when you’re dead, hey?).
Somewhere around East Croydon, I woke up to the strangest train view I have ever seen – and I’ve taken a train to Exeter before that was packed to the buffers with absolute weirdos (if you don’t believe me, ask my friend Rebecca. She witnessed the weirdness, too). Get this: a suited and booted man standing in the aisle…eyes covered with a sleep mask. Did I mention he was STANDING? With a sleep mask on? Oh, yeah, I did.
Now, is it just me, or is this actual insanity? First of all, why would you put that on in a public place, other than during a night flight? Second of all, Mr Crazy Commuter, you are standing in a train aisle. Even if you somehow manage to rock yourself off to sleep with the gentle motion of the train, you are going to fall over. Aren’t you? It doesn’t take a genius to figure that one out.
So, again, why are you wearing the eye mask? It’s hardly sexy. Or practical. Or anything really, unless you’re making like Charlotte in Sex and the City when, in order to volunteer for a blind charity, she has to ‘experience’ blindness firsthand. If you are doing that, you didn’t do a very good job as you kept taking the thing off, and then putting it back on, leaving your hair more of a tousled mess than it was originally, I imagine, and not learning much about blindness itself. What was stranger still is that, looking around, no-one else seemed to find this in the least bit bizarre. Has everyone become hardened/ immune to the strange habits of those around them? Surely not.
In order to check that I wasn’t odd to find this whole scene somewhere between ridiculous and terrfifying, I did what any person would do. Took out my camera and snatched a snapshot to show my friends later. The death of that man’s personal rights perhaps, but it’s just as much my right to know I’m not going mad! Ahem…
Luckily he didn’t see, although he did whip off the mask two seconds after the lens clicked. Which really just leaves me wondering one thing: have I been caught on candid camera? YouTube viral coming soon perhaps…